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15 Facts About Oscar-Winner Leonardo DiCaprio That You Probably Didn’t Know

Facts About Leonardo DiCaprio

The Oscars, 2016 were extra special because Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home an award, winning ‘Best Actor’ for The Revenant. Kate Winslet was all of us, as we cried happy tears during Leo’s acceptance speech. But how much do you know about everyone’s favorite Oscar-winner? Here are 15 facts about The Wolf of Wall Street that you probably didn’t know.

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1. Leonardo DiCaprio was named after the legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo DiCaprio was named after Leonardo da Vinci
Image source: http://iledebeaute.ru

The story goes that DiCaprio’s pregnant mother, Irmelin, was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci portrait at gallery in Florence, Italy when baby Leo kicked for the first time. His father believed that was a sign and decided to name the baby after the Renaissance genius.(source)

2. The Titanic actor can speak a little bit of both German and Italian. 

Leonardo DiCaprio’s father, George diCaprio, is of Italian and German descent. His mother is German and DiCaprio spent a part of his childhood living with his maternal grandparents, Wilhelm and Helene Indenbirken, in the small town of Oer-Erkenschwick in Western Germany. Due to his time there, the actor can speak a little German. He was especially close with his grandmother and often invited her to share special occasions with him – like the London premiere of James Cameron’s epic ‘Titanic’.(1,2)

3. When Leonardo was 11 and trying to get an acting job, an agent tried to convince him to change his name because it sounded too “ethnic”.  

Young Leonardo
Image source: www.etonline.com

The agent recommended that DiCaprio change his name to Lenny Williams to ensure wider appeal and refused to sign him unless the actor went along with the idea. However, Leo chose to stick with his birth name and was eventually signed by an agent when he was 13 years old.(source)

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4. Leonardo has been struggling to deal with obsessive compulsive disorder all his life. The Inception actor has the urge to walk through doorways several times.

Leonardo OCD
Image courtesy: From the movie The Aviator (Buena Vista International)

DiCaprio played the role of American tycoon and entrepreneur, Howard Hughes, in the 2004 biopic The Aviator. The founder of Hughes Aircraft Company battled with severe OCD and DiCaprio could sympathize with Hughes’ illness, as he has fought the same condition all his life. DiCaprio has opened up about coping with OCD and explained that he feels the strong need to walk through doorways several times and step on every chewing gum stain he sees.(source)

5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Kevin Connolly and, magician, David Blaine were all part of a group of friends that called themselves the ‘pussy posse’.

Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio
Image source: celebuzz.com

This was in the late 90’s and DiCaprio was fast friends with Maguire, Connolly, Blaine, as well as Lukas Haas and  screenwriter/director Harmony Korine. Most of them had grown up auditioning together and became friends in the process. The group was notorious for chasing women, which was how it acquired its name. However, since then, the pussy posse has broken up and all the friends have gone their own, separate ways.(source)

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